My Mom and The Piano
My mother grew up in what we would now call an underprivileged home. No dad, no money, and none of the extras in life. She married a poor farm boy at the age of seventeen.
Just one year after they married, and one week before I was born, my parents met Jesus and their lives were changed forever. Jesus gave them hope for a better tomorrow. And I was born into a Christian home.
When I was about six years old, my parents decided I would have one of the “extras” in life that they were not privileged to have. I would have piano lessons. And since my mom wanted to learn to play, she decided to take them too. On the day we went to our first piano lesson, my mom and I started a special journey together. It became a bond that just the two of us shared.
My dad, who became a pastor at a small country church, somehow managed to scrape together enough money to buy us a new piano. Mom loved practicing on it, but it was my least favorite thing to do. I begged and pleaded to quit my lessons, but my parents refused to let me. The battle got so bad that one day I ran out of the house at practice time, and climbed the cherry tree. That was not very smart. When I finally climbed down, there was a cherry tree twig waiting for me. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the sting of that thing on my bare legs.
So, I practiced …for years, and so did mom. When I was a teenager, my dad also bought us an organ for our home. The best memories I have of me and my mom are of her at the organ, and me at the piano, playing the old hymns.
Just recently, as I was going through some old scrapbooks, I found one that my mom made for me when I graduated from high school. In the very back of the book, I found this poem she had written just for me. It brought tears to my eyes as I read the words she wrote.
There she goes now, to the piano to play.
She’s there each Sunday, to sweet and gay.
(obviously written when that word meant happy)
And prayer meeting night, she’s at her place.
Playing the old hymns like “Amazing Grace.”
Each song she plays, she seems to feel.
Her music, to me, makes God seem more real.
As the offering is taken, she starts to play,
A song from her heart, it’s “O Happy Day.”
I’m so glad she knows, the time and the place,
And even the day, that by God’s grace,
She was saved from sin and from sin set free.
For the girl at the piano means so much to me.
It’s not just her playing that stirs my heart.
But her place in my life, she’s played a great part.
Many times, I’ve call her name as I pray,
For that is my daughter at the piano today.
Mom’s been gone now for many years, but every Sunday when I sit down at my piano, I look at the picture of the two of us sitting on the old piano bench, and I smile. And then, because she loved them, and because they still speak to my heart, I play the old hymns that she and I used to play together. And I’m thankful for the cherry switch, the years I was forced to practice, my dad’s sacrifice, and the sweet memories I have of me and mom at the piano.